6 Notable Things About New Mexico

New Mexico – Where we spent several weeks throughout February. From “alien country” in Roswell, to the mountains of Santa Fe, to the urban flair of Albuquerque, and all the open expanses and small towns along the way. Here are a few things that stood out about New Mexico during our stay:

Most interesting license plates

Not an earth shattering discovery by any stretch. But, when you spend this much time on the road, something as small as a license plate is a welcome distraction and can compliment the landscape. New Mexico offers a few different plate options as their main stay, and each one is colorful and eye catching. Collectively, making New Mexico’s plates the most interesting we have seen in the lower 48.

Chili Peppers

Not just for cooking, chili peppers are a way of life in New Mexico. They hung from homes, adorned mantels, decorated license plates, and were depicted all throughout the state. From cultural references and iconography, to home décor, to food staple, chili peppers are an integral part of the landscape.

No alcohol sales before noon on Sundays

Saving our grocery errands for Sunday morning was a mistake we only made once in New Mexico. While doing our weekly food run at a nearby Trader Joe’s, we happened across a wide cast fishing net that had been drawn in front of the wine/ beer section. Thinking it was just part of their kitschy decorating plan, it took a minute to realize that we were being blocked from the whole row and a small sign indicated that we could not purchase alcohol before noon- sending us off into other aisles to procrastinate and shop as slowly as possible to kill time.  Not the worst alcohol restrictions we have come across in the States, but definitely unexpected and inconvenient if left unaware.

Adobe architecture

This style of architecture is no stranger to the Southwest, and especially reigns over the New Mexican landscape. Making for charming downtowns and distinctive buildings, they are surprisingly cozy in cold weather and a cool respite from hot days.

Meow Wolf

If Alice in Wonderland and Stranger Things had a baby, that baby would be named Meow Wolf. This psychedelic indoor art installation is 100% immersive and 100% fun! You can opt to play the role of a sleuth and test out your Sci-Fi fantasies to follow the clues and solve the disappearing family mystery. Or, you can take a more laissez-faire approach and simply meander and interact at your leisure. This indoor adult wonderland is located in Santa Fe, NM and is not to be missed if anywhere near the area.

High winds & tumble weeds

Since living on the road means a lot of time spent on said road, driving conditions are something to be mindful of. While the landscape itself is “enchanting”, the winds throughout New Mexico are no joke. The highways that run across the state go for ages across large stretches of flat desert, and gusts of strong winds are something to be prepared for. Tumble weeds are not just comedic relief for Saturday morning cartoons, but real occurrences here. Dodging them became impossible at times, and counting them along the retainer fences lining the roads became a highway sport.

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